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+ servings
A jar of homemade vodka sauce.
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4.62 from 13 votes

Our Favorite Homemade Vodka Sauce

Use canned whole tomatoes to easily make this year-round.


  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4-1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  • Scoop about half the whole tomatoes into the bowl of a blender or food processor, leaving the remaining tomatoes and liquid in the can. Puree those in the blender until smooth. Scoop the remaining tomatoes out onto a cutting board; coarsely chop them, discarding most of the seeds.
  • Combine the pureed and chopped tomatoes in a large liquid measuing cup. Add a bit of tomato liquid reserved from the can, if needed, until you have about 2 cups total. Add salt and set aside. 
  • In a large saucepan, warm olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add onion and tomato paste; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, just until the onions begin to soften. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, just until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and salt, followed quickly by the vodka. Reduce heat to medium and simmer briskly for 8-10 minutes, until slightly thickened and the alcohol flavor is cooked off. Stir frequently and reduce heat if the simmering becomes too vigorous. Stir in the cream and cook about 1 minute, just until heated through. (Don’t cook the cream too long or the sauce will separate).
  • Serve sauce immediately, or allow to cool before storing in a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.



This sauce will keep well for at least 4-5 days in the fridge; the cream may separate if stored in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 103kcal, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 142mg, Potassium: 29mg, Vitamin A: 295IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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